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New second-level teaching resource on Ireland and World War Two

26 August 2020

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PDF icon RIA Emergency 1939-45 second level document resource

This new teaching resource for second-level history uses original documents to explore Ireland's experience of the Second World War; the 'Emergency'.

The Emergency: Ireland in a world at war, 1939-45, is a new teaching resource for second-level history about Ireland’s experience of the Second World War, or as the period is usually referred to in Ireland, the ‘Emergency’. Edited and compiled by John Gibney of the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy (DIFP) series and Kate O’Malley of the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography (DIB), it consists of contemporary documents drawn from volumes VI and VII of the DIFP series, supplemented with material from the DIB. It is primarily intended for use as a stand-alone module for Transition Year but can also be used to build on the Junior Certificate history course by working with ‘primary’ source material for students and teachers to explore. It is freely available to download.

The module is divided into distinct sections. Together these form a sequence, but each section is self-contained and can be explored individually. Teachers and students can choose which sections to focus on, in what order, and how best to use it in the classroom. Each section contains a selection of original documents and is geared towards discussion and debate in the classroom. There is also supporting material such as separate biographies, a glossary, and a list of additional resources, with details on how to use these for further projects and the Leaving Cert Research Study Report. The pack also includes a short guide on how the module may be relevant to Junior Cycle, and possible means of assessment and examination that may also be useful for Transition Year.

This selection of primary sources is intended to illustrate how Ireland managed to remain neutral in the Second World War, and the challenges Ireland faced while doing so. We hope that they will allow students and teachers to explore the contemporary and historical issues raised by Irish neutrality and the Second World War, along with the experience of those who lived through the period.

The teaching resource is illustrated with material from Military Archives and UCD Archives and was designed by Fidelma Slattery of RIA Publications.

Download The Emergency: Ireland in a world at war, 1939-45.

This is one of the many educational resources developed by the Royal Irish Academy. Each week throughout September and October 2020, we will be highlighting a specific resource available to primary, secondary or third level students. You can explore the full range on our dedicated educational resources page.

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